Here You Aid–November 14, 2011


Damaged people end up doing damage. People correctly being repaired desire more repair. Healed people want to heal.  Three eternal points–that’s really how simple it is. If you allow yourself or those around you to remain damaged, supposedly miraculously coated in a candy-shell of God’s grace, they will continue to rot inside that enclosure. Eventually, if you crack them, they will spew out their pain.

Jesus told a great parable–or maybe it’s more like an analogy–about how we cannot possibly assist someone in taking the speck out of their eye if we have a log in our own. Yet–we try. And because we make this feeble attempt, we end up doing more offense than setting our brothers and sisters free. On this last day of our series on the “Here Philosophy,” I want to conclude with the concept of what it takes to cease being offensive and to actually become of assistance to those who are damaged or need repair.

Until you deal with your own emotions, accept your feelings as legitimate and own them instead of denying them and hiding them deep in the recesses of your fear, you are not fit or ready to minister to other individuals who are equally imprisoned in their own cells of inadequacy.

Here you go. If you really want to start the process of living and ultimately turn it into loving, you must cease your trepidation over being. Deal with your feelings instead of pretending that they are  innately good OR evil. Once you do this, you acquire:

Here you got. Instead of having a mythical idea of what you think you can do because it’s what you want to do, you are granted, through your spirit, an awareness of your true abilities. You suddenly become valuable. For after all, no one is of much quality to anyone else if they can’t pipe back a faithful inventory of what they are prepared to contribute in any situation or relationship. It is at this point that you reach the capacity of:

Here you adopt. You are initiated into a realm of thankful thinking. Rather than destroying possibilities through negative sensations or oversimplifying life’s opportunities by being too positive too soon, you just become grateful for what you actually have in your possession. It allows for:

Here you adapt. Adaptation is what really frightens most people–because it demands that we begin with one concept but adjust, on the fly, to what needs to be done based upon the new data that has been provided. You can see it would be impossible to do that without being pure of heart–knowing what you have and functioning with thankful thinking. The ability to adapt turns the jungle of life into our own living room of potential. In other words, if life can’t come up with an angle that’s going to throw us, more than likely we’re not going to get thrown. Which makes room for:

Here you add. If you’re confident in what you can do, that assurance gives you the energy and faith to risk your talent to make more. Case in point: not everybody will come to your house and enjoy eating your famous chili recipe. Some people just don’t like chili. But the fact of the matter is, if you know how to brown ground beef and put onions in it, you can stop short of chili, make Sloppy Joe and satisfy your surprised guest. I’m not trying to trivialize the complexities of life–I’m just saying that our worst enemy is stubbornness, and when you have a soul that is ready to add on new possibilities to existing repertoire, you’ll surprise yourself with a new tune. This brings us to our last step: 

Here you aid. Emotionally fulfilled people, who have a soul for what they’ve got, have learned to adopt the thankful thinking which has generated the energy to adapt to the circumstances that pop up in the explosions of everyday living and have added new substance to their talent as a tribute to the Giver of all talents–these individuals have the self-confidence and easiness of style to actually aid people who are emotionally locked up in a tomb.


Because if you know you’ve got a log in your eye and you remove that log BEFORE you do the delicate surgery on somebody else’s speck, they are more confident about your surgical ability because they’ve seen you do major work on your own being.

Politics is ineffective because nothing changes. Religion impresses no one because we lack poster children for the cause. If you want to make an impact, you must first impact your own life and stop the damage that has occurred and set repair in motion, replacing it with healing. The log and the speck–a fortuitous comparison of Jesus–because he places the responsibility for changing the planet into the hands of the people who have the power to do it.  That’s you and me.

Stop asking the heavens to change the course of earth. Change your own course–and the earth may just turn towards the path of heaven.

  • Here you goget a pure heart.
  • Here you gotdevelop a truthful inventory.
  • Here you adoptthankful thinking. Allow your brain to be a center of joy instead of a coffin of fear and worry.
  • Here you adaptdon’t be surprised if things change. It’s their job.
  • Here you addknowing you have talent, step out and be willing to see it multiply to your benefit and the delight of those around you.
  • Here you aidfree of an agenda to be noticed, you begin to notice those who need to be freed of their agenda.

It’s the “Here Philosophy.”  Where did I get it? I got it from studying life–and Jesus.

For Jesus is not a religion nor is he a “theology” about God. He has a lifestyle. He is a life coach, teaching us that “here” is the “now” that we have, which lays the foundation for our “forever.”


Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!


Jonathan sings “Let”


Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”


Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

Here You Add–November 13, 2011


She was sad, having absolutely no idea how to rise from the ashes of a devastating relationship which had produced three young whelps who had plans of their own which certainly did not include her well-earned Master’s Degree in Music and virtuoso ability on the oboe. She sat in a room with me, having fresh tears on her cheeks, the veteran of an abusive situation with the man who was the father of her children, but certainly not the husband of her dreams, leaving her financially destitute, with no recourse but to find the best job possible in the quickest way possible. She said, “I guess I’ll never play oboe again.”

I was saddened, alarmed, infuriated, passionate and bewildered–all in the same moment. “Why?” I inquired.

“Because I have messed up so badly and I need to be a mother to these children and make money as quickly as possible, and that just doesn’t have anything to do with blowing through a horn.”

She was speaking conventional wisdom, which is great if you’re going to a convention, but usually doesn’t do much for the personal welfare of an individual human being. It made me think about my situation–not because I was trying to be selfish, but because I realized that the purpose of having a clean emotional slate is to make you able to evaluate what you’ve really got and muster a thankful thinking that allows you to take your mustard seed of ability and faith and plant it in the right direction. 

I had been successful doing things that were musical and had achieved some prowess with writing. Now I wondered if I could compose music for the oboe and take this dear woman’s abilities and keep them moving forward, generating some finance for her family and also producing some new possibilities for my own career. I prepared myself for the multiplication of talents.

The reason most people never multiply their talents is because they’re unwilling to admit they have talent. Why? Because the admission of talent brings forth two crazy “r’s” in our lives.  The first one if responsibility.  If I have a talent, it’s safe to assume I’m responsible to do something with it instead of burying it in the ground or hiding it under a bushel. Yes, most people “bushel their talent” because the responsibility of using it is so frightening that they would rather pretend they weren’t granted such agility. 

Because the second “r” is rejection. What happens if you share your talent and people tell you you’re not very good? What if you decide to live off your talent and the daily wage necessary to sustain life doesn’t come trickling in? Yes, responsibility and rejection often keep us from admitting we have the talent–and the lack of confessing our gift eliminates the possibility of expanding it and multiplying it, to foster new areas.

I had written gospel music; I had written plays. I had written a few books and I was working on a novel. Could I have the faith, with my little mustard seed, to believe that I could write music for oboe with a symphonic bend, that would allow this dear woman to continue her work in a craft that brought her joy, so that raising her children would be a pleasant experience instead of an adult burden?

The power of discovering your mustard seed of talent is that you no longer have to convince yourself that God has blessed you. The only challenge that remains is how far you can stretch that blessing before it breaks. 

I asked her if she wanted to work with me. That was fifteen years ago–two novels, seven books, fourteen CD’s, eleven symphonies and seventeen screenplays completed.

Once you free your spirit of the burden of unrequited emotions, your brain becomes thankful and a mind of gratitude develops the faith to use the mustard seed of talent, to launch out in trust with what you have and in the process, avenues appear for potential multiplication.

I do not know what I would have done that day if Janet Clazzy had shared her burden about her life and I had been emotionally bound up, unaware of what capacity was within me, distrustful of being grateful about my life, and had not already learned to plant my mustard seed into the ground to let it grow. But because I had gone through the “here you go,” the “here you got,” the “here you adopt” and the “here you adapt” phases,  by the grace of God, I was ready for “here you add.”

I sat down at a keyboard and started writing music that we will be sharing in front of a congregation even this very day.

Fresh things don’t happen if we allow our beliefs to become stale. Joy is not spawned from trepidation. And talent does not overtake us–but is taken over by our desire to believe that we can actually contribute something of quality to human life around us.

I am so glad she didn’t quit playing the oboe.  Aren’t you? I am so glad she learned how to conduct a symphony orchestra, and began one that reached tens of thousands of people in Tennessee. And I am so glad that she is sitting right here with me now, typing this document as my friend and co-producer of all sorts of new ideas.

If you want to have good spiritual and mental health, you need to stop being afraid of the responsibility and rejection that often accompany talent–because burying your talent in the ground only makes it invisible to the masses.

You still know it’s there.


Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!


Jonathan sings “Let”


Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”


Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

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